Today we wanted to introduce you to Kaylie Johnson – the creative force between the new blog “Paleo & Gluten Free Eats.” At just 20 years old, she’s already making waves in the Paleo community with her stunning food photos. Her work caught our eye when she started sharing her recipes on our site about a month ago. Seeing professional quality photos lined up in the publishing queue always makes us smile, but from someone who is only 20? That’s pretty special. We did a little research on Kaylie, and after realizing she was the real deal, we wanted to share her talents and story with you all. We hope you enjoy it!
First of all, your photography is beautiful. It looks like you’ve been taking photos for quite a while. Tell us a little about when you first took an interest in this sort of art.
I have always loved photography. I bought a Nikon D5100 when I was about 14 and I loved taking pictures of nature and people. Once I really got into cooking, I wanted to incorporate my love for photography with my love for food, so I began teaching myself as much as I could about food photography. I love that I learn something new every time I do a photoshoot. I love the endless possibilities when creating a beautiful space with food and my camera.
At 16, you had a long list of ailments, which had to be a scary time in your life (especially at that age!) Around the same time, you found Paleo. Tell us about how that all came to be.
Well, at the time when my health took as drastic turn downhill, I was already eating really healthy. I discovered the Paleo diet, because of my love for nutrition and health. I began eating Paleo in 2011 because I wanted to support my digestive system and overall well being. I figured if everything else in my body was falling apart, I wanted to do my best to support my body through my diet. I’m going to be honest. I am not one of those “Paleo healed me” stories. The truth is, I wasn’t cured from whole foods and I am still fighting or my health every day. I do however, believe that Paleo has created space for my body to not have to fight one more thing. I feel so much better eating this way and even though it’s not a fix-all, eating Paleo has made a huge difference in how I function day to day.
How long have you been blogging? If memory serves correctly, this isn’t your first blog. How have things changed for you since you started?
I have been blogging since June of 2015. I recently rebranded my blog last month to paleoglutenfree.com. Since starting my blog, a lot of things have changed. Among these include: I now love going to work doing something I am passionate about, I am learning so many things about technology, marketing, and expanding my passions for photography and writing. I am loving connecting with so many amazing people with the same passions from all around the globe.
What is your biggest challenge in cooking?
Oh man, my biggest cooking challenge is definitely preparing savory dishes. I am the type of person who will eat a huge salad or pile of roasted brussel sprouts for every single meal, every single day, for months! I love to bake and make breads, desserts, and such, but I am not very creative with my cooking. Because of this, you will see my blog is filled with only paleo and gluten free breads, snacks, breakfast ideas, etc…
What is your favorite recipe you’ve made?
My favorite recipe I have made is, my Grain Free Bread Rolls. Life just isn’t complete without a good slice of bread once in awhile, even if I don’t eat grains. Making this Paleo bread for the first time was like an epiphany! It was like a breakthrough realization that I really could make anything I wanted without grains, dairy, or refined sugar.
Where do you hope to be in 3-5 years?
I used to try and answer this question. Being the planner I am, I loved to have an idea of where I might be and what I might be doing in a few years. But the truth is, I have no idea where the Lord will take me. I have experienced enough of life to know, it never ends up how I plan. My only desire is to be helping others find hope and healing. Whether this be through whole foods/blogging or another avenue.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about eating healthy?
I really wish others knew how fun and easy healthy cooking can be! It is such a joy to eat healthy and it really doesn’t need to be hard. A lot of people think that eating healthy means eating rabbit food, starving yourself, or missing out on “regular food.” If only they knew that never once have I felt I am missing out on “regular food”. I absolutely love that Paleo creates space for lots of fun, flavor, and excitement in cooking.
Kaylie’s Recipes on Primal Palate